ACLU threatens Utah parents' right to protect children from same-sex advocacy


FARMINGTON, Utah — The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah has demanded that children should have access to a book promoting advocacy of homosexuality without the knowledge of their parents.

The Alliance Defense Fund quickly sent a letter supporting the Davis School District policy that requires parental consent before children can check out a homosexual advocacy book titled "In Our Mothers' House" from elementary school libraries.

"Public schools should not surrender to ACLU intimidation when it asks them to expose children to sexual content without parental knowledge," said ADF Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco.

"Parents, not the ACLU, should decide whether young children have access to this type of propaganda, which is obviously aimed at re-educating children regarding the nature of the family. The law clearly upholds the right and duty of schools to protect children and respect the role of their parents," said Tedesco.

A group of parents signed a petition objecting to the book's accessibility to children without parental consent, which  was taken to the school district after a kindergarten boy from Windridge Elementary School brought the book home. As a result, the district now requires a signed parental permission slip before any student can check out the book.

Patricia Polacco, author of the book, told Fox 13 Salt Lake City that this was the first time that the book got a negative reaction. However, according to the Huffington Post, a 2011 report by the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas showed that the book has been banned in several schools in Texas.

"I would like [the parents] to consider…what if they are raising a gay child and the child doesn't know they're gay and all they've heard is derision and criticism for that way of life," Polacco told Fox 13.

According to ADF, the U.S. Supreme Court precedent supports the district's decision to require parental consent before providing young students with materials that touch upon human sexuality.

"Parents have the 'fundamental right' to 'direct the upbringing and education of children under their control.' The District is right to leave such decisions to them," states the ADF letter. "It is 'established beyond debate' that 'parents have the primary role…in the upbringing of their children.'"

"Children in elementary schools are not mentally or emotionally prepared to deal with topics involving human sexuality without careful guidance from their parents," concludes Tedesco. "We hope that the district will continue to act in the best educational interests of its youngest students and not concede to the ACLU's unreasonable demands."